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Terminally ill pet owners all had same last wish: Charity makes it come true

Owner cuddling cat dog-sad
© petpeaceofmindnational - Instagram

A charity is providing a better quality of life for hospice residents by allowing them to keep pets. And it's helping these pets find new homes after their humans pass on.

By Ashley Murphy

Published on the 06/06/2021, 21:00

Dogs and cats aren't our pets. They're not even our friends. Instead, they're part of our family. And we all need family around us.

But too many people are forced to say goodbye to their dogs and cats when they need them the most. This is because care homes and hospices don't have the resources to look after terminally ill people and their pets.

 

Pets belong with their people

The Pet Peace of Mind Project is trying to change that. And it's doing something truly extraordinary. The non-profit provides free pet-care support to hospice staff and residents. It means terminally ill patients can now spend the time they have left with their furriest family members.

Dianne McGill is the founder and director of Pet Peace of Mind. She launched the charity in 2015 to ensure hospice and palliative care patients always have the support they need for their animal companions.

"For many terminally ill patients, pets provide a powerful antidote – sometimes the most powerful antidote – to isolation, loneliness, and depression," said Dianne. "I know of countless patients who have said that their pet is their lifeline."

And the project helps residents make arrangements that will ensure their pets are always taken care of. This includes finding suitable foster and forever homes and setting aside enough money for pet insurance policies and any adoption costs.

We need something like this in UK

Volunteers from Pet Peace of Mind also assist with daily pet care tasks, such as grooming, feeding, bathing, and walkies.

At the moment, the project only operates in the USA. But Pet Peace of Mind is growing all the time. So let's hope it reaches our shores soon.

In the meantime, many UK animal charities provide free support for terminally ill pet owners. And some care homes and hospices do allow furry visitors.